Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of America’s Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his “Ecks & Bacon” column.
Euro 2020: Scotland vs England Pick
LAS VEGAS — Back over to London for the UEFA Euro 2020 and gotta throw down a few chips on England on its home pitch against Scotland. Why? The Three Lions are working on a 7-0 PERFECTO and have conceded just one goal during that run. The price, around -320 depending on where you shop, is tough to swallow, so we’ll try a few prop wagers. Gonna sprinkle some cash on England to win 1-0 (+475), 2-0 (+450) and 3-0 (+700).
NBA: Philadelphia vs Atlanta Pick
Bouncing back to the States, and gonna look down South where the Hawks are looking to close out the 76ers. To all you phenomenal Philly fans, close your eyes, stop reading and start doing a little transcendental meditation.
You’ll need it because we’re thinking that the kids from the ATL are gonna roll, and kinda hard to believe that they are a 3-point underdog. WHAT? As we watched the last few minutes of the Sixers’ HISTORIC Game 5 CHOKE (sorry, but there is no other word to describe it), the body language of every player with the Liberty Bell was sad and depressing.
The Hawks know that no matter what the deficit is, they’ll be able to turn the tide. You might have seen this stat, you might not believe it, but it IS real. The 76ers were 165-0 over the last 25 years when leading by 25 points or more. ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE & OH!!! When the margin hit 27 points, I decided to make a little wager with Mrs. Ecks & Bacon. If the Sixers wound up losing, I would do dishes for the rest of the year. Not gonna say what Mrs. was offering, but just hit up Amazon for some Mr. Clean Bliss Premium latex-free dishwashing gloves.
It set me back $6.99 but we DO have FREE shipping. If any of you cheese steak-eating fans are still reading, STOP, because Atlanta has won and covered six of the last seven at State Farm Arena. The confidence level is an 11 out of 10 and WHO is gonna stop ICE Trae Young? No one. Sorry, but you gotta gimme the Hawks for the money.
MLB: Miami vs Chicago Pick
Not gonna sing Take Me Out to The Ballgame, but do like the Cubbies with Zach Davies over the Marlins. Miami has not named a starter yet, but that is not an issue in my book. The issue is Davies and Wrigley Field. Zach has been brilliant the last two times on the hill, throwing a total of 12 innings without allowing an earned run. That would be a ZERO POINT ZERO ZERO ERA!!!
Then there’s the ivy. The Cubs have the most home wins of any team in the National League with 24, and are on a gorgeous 6-0 roll at Wrigley. Of course, if the Marlins acquire Jacob deGrom before the game and name him as the starter, all bets are OFF. Otherwise, you can grab Chicago, and BOOK IT!!!
Boxing: Naoya Inoue vs Michael Dasmarinas Pick
If you’re not doing anything at around 10 o’clock on the East Coast, step into the boxing ring with me. We’re taking a look at the title fight in Vegas between Naoya Inoue and Michael Dasmarinas. Inoue is a GIGANTIC favorite, and we’re not laying 3,000 bones to win back a lousy $100 bill, so it’s prop time. Gonna look for Naoya to end the night early, and betting Round 1 at +700, Round 2 at +600 and Round 3 at +600. If it goes more than three rounds, you’ll be getting my resume!
And if you’re looking for winners over the weekend ... hoops, ice, baseball, Euro 2020 ... PLZ hit me on Instagram. I will be doing quick 15-second picks at www.instagram.com/vegasvigorish!
Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America’s Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his email...email@example.com.